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If those who have kept their first love, and whose robes have not been defiled, endeavour to stop these innovations and corruptions that their enemies would introduce, they are blackened for High Church Papists, favourers of I know not who, and fall under the public resentment.--1b. p. 301.
The following are a few extracts from Low Church writers (quoted in The Scourge), who thus designate their opponents :
A pack or party of scandalous, wicked, and profane men, who appropriate to themselves the name of High Church (but may more properly be said to be Jesuits or Papists in masquerade), do take liberty to teach, preach, and print, publickly and privately, sedition, contentions, and divisions among the Protestants of this kingdom.-Motives to Union, p. 1.
These men glory in their being members of the High Church (Popish appellation, and therefore they are the more fond of that); but these pretended sons are become her persecutors, and they exercise their spite and lies both on the living and the dead.—The Snake in the Grass brought to Light, p. 8.
Our common people of the High Church are as ignorant in matters of religion as the bigotted Papists, which gives great advantage to our Jacobite and Tory priests to lead them where they please, or to mould them into what shapes they please.—Reasons for an Union, p. 39.
The minds of the populace are too much debauched already from their loyalty by seditious arts of the High Church faction.--Convocation Craft, p. 34.
We may see how closely our present Highflyers pursue the steps of their Popish predecessors, in reckoning those who dispute the usurped power of the Church to be hereticks, schismaticks, or what else they please.- 1b. p. 30.
All the blood that has been spilt in the late unnatural rebellion, may be very justly laid at the doors of the High Church clergy.--Christianity no Creature of the State, p. 16.
We see what the Tory Priesthood were made of in Queen Elizabeth's time, that they were ignorant, lewd, and seditious: and it must be said of 'em that they are true to the stuff still.--Toryism the Worst of the Two, p. 21.
The Tories and High Church, notwithstanding their pretences to loyalty, will be found by their actions to be the greatest rebels in nature.--Reasons for an Union, p. 20.
Sir W. Scott, in his Life of Dryden, Lond. 1808, observes that
Towards the end of Charles the Second's reign, the High-Church-men and
the Catholics regarded themselves as on the same side in political questions, and not greatly divided in their temporal interests. Both were sufferers ia the plot, both were enemies of the sectaries, both were adherents of the Stu
Alternate conversion had been common between them, so early as since Milton made a reproach to the English Universities of the converts to the Ro-man faith daily made within their colleges : of those sheep
Whom the grim wolf with privy paw
Life, 3d edit. 1834, p. 272. This passage is quoted as a preface to the remark that in James II.'s reign, and at the time these party names originated, the Roman Catholics were in league with the Puritans or Low Church party against the High Churchmen, which increased the acrimony of both parties.
In those days religion was politics, and politics religion, with most of the belligerents. Swift, however, as if he wished to be thought an exception to the general rule, chose one party for its politics and the other for its religion.
Swift carried into the ranks of the Whigs the opinions and scruples of a High Church clergyman ... Such a distinction between opinions in Church and State has not frequently existed: the High Churchmen being usually Tories, and the Low Church divines universally Whigs --Scott's Life, 2d edit. Edin. 1824, p. 76. See Swift's Discourse of the Contests and Dissensions between the Nobles and Commons of Athens and Rome : Lond. 1701.
In his quaint Argument against abolishing Christianity, Lond. 1708, the following passage occurs :
There is one advantage, greater than any of the foregoing, proposed by the abolishing of Christianity: that it will utterly extinguish parties among us by removing those factious distinctions of High and Low Church, of Whig and Tory, Presbyterian and Church of England.
Scott says of the Tale of a Tub:
The main purpose is to trace the gradual corruptions of the Church of Rome, and to exalt the English Reformed Church at the expense both of the Roman Catholic and Presbyterian establishments. It was written with a view to the interests of the High Church party.--Life, p. 84. .
Most men will concur with Jeffrey, who observes :
It is plain, indeed, that Swist's High Church principles were all along but a part of his selfishness and ambition ; and meant nothing else, than a desire to raise the consequence of the order to which he happened to belong. If he had been a layman, we have no doubt he would have treated the pretensions of the priesthood as he treated the persons of all priests who were opposed to him, with the most bitter and irreverent disdain.---Ed. Rev., Sept. 1816.
The following lines are from a squib of eight stanzas which occurs in the works of Jonathan Smedley, and are said to have been fixed on the door of St. Patrick's Cathedral on the day of Swift's instalment (see Scott, p. 174) :
For High Churchmen and policy,
He swears he prays most hearty;
A Dean of any party.
In good King Charles's golden days,
When loyalty no harm meant,
And so I got preferment.
The great principle of religious toleration is a discovery of very recent date. Butler's exquisitely witty lines on "The True Church Militant," apply as well to Papists as Puritans, to High Church as well as Low Church.
Wordsworth, and most Anglican writers down, are ever extolling the Golden Mean and the moderation of the Church of England. Wordsworth gays :
* Of Izaak Walton, his biographer, Sir John Hawkins, writing in 1760, says, “ He was a friend to a hierarchy, or, as we should now call such a one, a High Churchman."
High and Low,
As if a Church, though sprung from heaven, must owe
Not to the golden mean and quiet flow
A fine old writer of the same Church (Dr. Joseph Beaumont) seems to think that this love of the Mean can be carried too far:
And witty too in self-delusion, we
Of all the world it is acknowledged that
The temperate mean is always Virtue's seat.
Hence foolish man, if moderately evil,
Psyche, cant. xxi. 4, 5.
The High Churchmen, unfortunately, had recourse to an argument which cuts both ways; they taught their opponents "the holy text of pike and gun," and to
Decide all controversies by
their doctrine orthodox
By apostolic blows and knocks. By penal laws and acts of uniformity they erected an "Establishment” at the loss of a Church; and by abject servility to the State they gained their temporalities at the loss of spiritual power. They were all this time tying a halter round their own
necks; and, by a curious moral retribution, they eventually found themselves, in one half of Great Britain, hunted, persecuted“ Dissenters,” utterly crippled in the other, and barely tolerated as a party in a Church they once called their own.
The principle of private judgment, and the precedent of separation, being introduced by the Reformers, intolerance and a forced conformity came awkwardly from their followers, though this inconsistency had the authority of Luther and Calvin, &c.; and the experiment was especially hazardous with a nation allowed to be about as stiff-necked” as the Israelites of old, and thus described by one of their own countrymen :
In their religion they are so uneven,
That all men think an Englishman the devil. *** All the Dissenters wanted at first was toleration, and a free exercise of their religion according to their conscience; and most of them would have been content to leave the wealth and power of the Establishment to the Churchmen; but no, the latter would not let them alone, they must conform. As external conformity was all they could control, they thus filled the Church with secret enemies, the mildest of whom mocked at Church principles as at best a conventional farce, a mere system of unreality. These turned the tables on their masters when they got the opportunity; and determined not to give up the temporalities of the Church they were forced into, nor their own principles neither.
* The True-Born Englishman. Satyr. Printed in the year MDOCI.-P. 16.